Contenders never feel like they have enough relief pitching, so if you have a good relief pitcher on your team, especially one who throws with his left arm and isn’t being paid a ton of money, you have yourself a very valuable commodity.
The Chicago Cubs happen to have a relief pitcher like the one described above. His name is James Russell and according to Peter Gammons, Russell is becoming a hot name in trade discussion.
The Los Angeles Angels are one team in particular that could use another left-handed arm out of the pen. We know the Tigers are also looking for relief help though they might be more interested in a closer than a left-handed set-up man.
Russell’s numbers this year have been solid. In 34 appearances, he has a 2.22 ERA and a 1.068 WHIP. He has been dominant against lefties in the past, but this year he’s actually been stronger against righties than lefties.
A 28-year-old left-handed reliever who can get right-handed hitters out? Theo Epstein and the Cubs should have no trouble moving this guy for a good prospect. The sell-off should continue in Chicago and James Russell looks to be one of the guys who will be moving on.